On November 30, our family’s attorney Hussein abu Hussein submitted his written summation of our civil lawsuit against the Israeli military for Rachel’s killing. The first testimony of the suit (originally filed March 15, 2005) was heard in Haifa District Court on March 10, 2010, and the last on July 10, 2011. State attorneys will now have three months to file their summation, followed by two weeks for a reply from our side. We expect a verdict in the spring of 2012.
It has, at times, been hard to listen to testimony from the Israeli military. While soldiers on the scene have testified that they recognized Rachel and her ISM friends as non-violent demonstrators, their superior officers stated under oath that there are no civilians in war and that the military is at war with everyone in Gaza. After Rachel was killed, the Deputy Battalion Commander reflected in the day’s operations log that orders were to “shoot to kill” anyone in the border area between Gaza and Egypt. His Brigade Commander later confirmed that order. The DBC testified further that this area was ever-expanding – up to the next row of Palestinian houses in Rafah.